Window Cleaning Tips
Wipe dust from window frames, tracks, and sills using a lint-free cloth or towel. If stains or mineral deposits persist, use a soft scrub brush like the umpire brush used to sweep home plate at baseball games.
For a streak-free finish, lightly dampen a sponge and wipe the glass in an “S” pattern. Wipe the squeegee blade clean with a rag between strokes to prevent dripping. See our home page.
Clean the Frames
Cleaning isn’t everyone’s favorite chore around the home, but integrating this into your regular house upkeep schedule will prevent dirt build-up and make it easier to spot problems, such as cracks or mildew growth. If you have aluminum window frames, a non-alkaline cleaner with a low PH level is the best way to get rid of oxidation, which will make the frames look dull and grey.
Scrub the frame and glass surfaces, including window joints and grooves with a scrub brush or non-scratch sponge to remove any grime deposits. This is an ideal opportunity to check for any signs of damage, such as loose screws or chips in the paint, so you can organize repairs before the problem gets worse.
Rinse all the surfaces thoroughly with water and allow them to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. For the best results, a rubber-bladed squeegee is recommended, but you can also use a microfiber cloth.
Clean the Glass
If the window sills are stained with hard-to-remove water stains, you can use a commercial cleaner or a solution made from equal parts warm water and distilled white vinegar. Spray the cleaner on the glass and let it soak for several minutes. Then, scrub with a microfiber cloth or an old t-shirt. Don’t use ammonia, which can discolor wood or metal.
When scrubbing the windows, first use a dry microfiber cloth to remove larger, easily removable debris, such as dust and hair. Then, dampen the cloth with your cleaning solution and wipe the glass. It’s best to use a lint-free cloth or rag, such as an old t-shirt, rather than paper towels, which can leave behind lint.
If the glass is covered with mildew or mold, mix equal parts of warm water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle, then apply it to the glass. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it down with a clean, lint-free cloth.
Clean the Sills
The window sills, whether they’re vinyl or paint, tend to attract more dirt and grime than most other surfaces in a home. They’re a hotspot for transferable germs, especially when they collect residue from pollution like smog and car exhaust. Cleaning them prevents this residue from making its way indoors, where it can cause health problems.
Start by hosing down the sills with a garden hose to remove loose debris and moss. For exterior sills, this may also be a good time to rinse away any stuck-on mud or moss with a coarse-bristled brush.
Next, wipe down the sills with a damp microfiber cloth, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. If your window sills have sticky residue from labels or tape, try soaking it in a product like Goof Off before scraping it off. Once the residue is removed, dry the sills thoroughly to prevent a return of mold.
Dry the Glass
If stains remain on the glass, you can use a commercial product containing oxalic acid (such as Zud or Bar Keepers Friend) to remove them. Apply a paste to the glass and rub it, then rinse. Alternatively, you can try using a razor blade mounted in a holder to scrape off crusty stains, but be careful not to scratch the glass.
When the glass is clean, dry it thoroughly. A lint-free cloth, microfiber towel, or even a crumpled-up paper bag will work. Leaving moisture on the glass can cause it to cloud over and leave streaks.
For windows that you can’t reach without a ladder, spray or mop them with a mixture of water and vinegar or a commercial cleaner and wipe them with a squeegee with a rubber blade. Between passes, make sure to dry the squeegee with a clean cloth so that it glides smoothly and leaves a streak-free finish. This is especially important for older windows that tend to collect gummy residues like skin oils, insects, and bird droppings. Definitely worth checking out!